Infrared photos are unique, because they take capture a type of image that is impossible to see with the naked eye alone. Here are a collection of infrared photos, shot by professionals and amateurs to help inspire you. We’ve also included a few tips about how you can experiment with infrared photography if you’d like to give it a try!
Please note this article is about shooting digital infrared, which can differ to the process used for film.
What is Infrared Photography?
Infrared photography is the photography of infrared light. This light is not normally visible to the human eye, and the technique we’re looking at today is often mixed up with thermal imaging due to being only one wavelength difference on the electromagnetic scale.
How Do I Shoot Infrared?
There are three common ways you can get a infrared effect. The first is to convert your camera to shoot only infrared, this will cost you around $200-$500, and you’ll only ever be able to shoot infrared. This option is only really suitable for a serious professional.
The second option is to use a infrared filter. These vary in style but are much cheaper to buy – ranging from around $20-$200. If you are serious about trying to shoot infrared, I would advise you to select a mid range $60-$80 filter rather than aiming for the low end, as these can give fairly average results.
The third way is to use Photoshop with your existing pictures. This is the option I would avoid as, although Photoshop is one of my favorite programs, the process to convert the pictures is time consuming and looks extremely fake compared to a filter or IR camera.
So, Do I Need Anything Else?
You’ll also need a tripod, as infrared requires a long exposure, and to remember to set the white balance yourself – don’t let the camera do it for you! Also, remember that infrared takes a lot of trial and error – you might have to repeat the same shot which many different settings until you get something you like!
A Selection of Stunning Examples
The picture below might look a little dull and grainy, but it shows another use of infrared – a comet or meteor hitting the planet Jupiter. You can see the "scar" is the white area near the bottom.
This is another example of infrared space photography. I would recommend clicking on the image and using the website to zoom in further and look at the detail of the photo.
Thanks For Reading
Hopefully you have a slightly better understanding of the effect that can be achieved with infrared photography! If you have any suggestions or ideas for more roundups, please feel free to leave a comment.